Swirlspace was founded in 1999 by San Francisco designer Gustavo Alcantar to provide outstanding professional graphic design services and explore the intersections of Ecology, Travel, Tech, Fashion and Music/Entertainment industries.
Gustavo has been “Living the Good Life”, maintaining longterm design client relationships throughout his global travels and explorations into various design disciplines (Eco-fashion, Sustainability non-profit, Permaculture). His diverse experience and genuinely friendly easy-going attitude makes him the ideal partner to walk with you on your new venture, listening to your story and helping brainstorm ways to launch your precious products, services and talents.
After graduating with a B.S. in Applied Arts & Design from Cal Poly SLO University (1992) Gustavo worked at several prestigious design studios in San Francisco such as Zimmerman-Crowe, Michael Osborne, & Coleman Souter before landing at BigTop Productions, a non-violent children’s software developer in San Francisco’s famed “Multimedia Gulch”. Not only did he create innovative CD-ROM packaging & marketing materials, but he was turned onto Website design when Netscape’s first browser launched the WWW as we know it today. This exciting new technology led him to co-create several early Flash-based websites & games. Unfortunately Bigtop folded in 1996, just shy of the oncoming Dotcom boom that swept into San Francisco in late 90s.
This timely break allowed him time to grab a backpack and go adventuring in South America for 19 months. The intense journey awakened his core and he began formulating his personal mission of right livelihood, focusing on inner peace and awareness, and ecological, spiritual, and socially progressive ventures, a far cry from corporate coghood.
When Gustavo landed back home (SF) smack-dab in the middle of the first DotCom Bubble, he managed to regain his footing and birth this small successful one-man design studio. In 2000 his creative juices overflowed into launching Swirlspace Hempwear, an innovative Eco-Fashion clothing line featuring his screenprinted design work on T-shirts and Yogawear. This bootstrapped side project soon grew into a full Eco-brand and kept him very occupied for a decade. By late 2009 the economic recession had taken its toll and he began picking up freelance design clients again. The clothing line was officially retired in 2012.
Also in the 2000s Gustavo co-founded and served on Board of Directors for a progressive non-profit co-op called The Urban Alliance for Sustainability (UAS). This volunteer group fused Business with Ecology and Community in San Francisco, leading the charge into the green awakening in America. His many titles included creative director and event coordinator and he co-produced many social mixers, parties, community events and tradeshow networking areas all focusing on building a platform for Socially Responsible Green Business.
In 2011 Gustavo began his formal exploration into Permaculture Design, taking a year-long course with Penny Livingston at the Regenerative Design Institute (RDI). He’s continued his hands-on learning at every opportunity, including organizing Permaculture Sayulita, an informal organization with Certification Courses & workshops in Mexico. In 2013 he jumped at the opportunity to work on a six-month Permaculture design project with the indigenous Huichol people’s non-profit in central Mexico’s high deserts…its all growing beautifully…
His current distant project is designing and handbuilding a small home/vacation rental in Mexico, made from Natural & Reclaimed Materials such as Cob, Bamboo, Wooden Palettes, Bottles etc. He hopes to utilize all his life’s experiences to roll it into a chain of eco-art boutique rentals which will cradle artists & travellers in permaculture heaven. Amen.